I’m a winner…again!!!

Good times…good times…I won this fabulous hat and scarf set from Yarn Coture on I Heart Handmade Spring. Beautiful crochet work and fun colors. I wish I could do a better picture of the hat but since I have an abnormally large head it doesn’t quite fit. LOL. Hey I know my limitations!! (Maryum, the hat will be gifted to someone special. It’s too beautiful to go to waste.) But check out these beauties.

Crochet on the Go!

Despite the fact that many urbanites dread the daily commute, I look forward to it as a way to catch up on things. When I worked in the city, I would read novels on my morning bus ride into New York. My commute is much shorter now. I go from one city to another in New Jersey so instead of losing myself in a story, I lose myself in a project. I’ve found that a ball of yarn and a hook fit conveniently in my everyday tote. Commuting, whether long or short, can help you get some crafting time into a busy schedule. Personally I like to work on smaller projects like toys or hats because they are easily portable.

But you can easily work on small projects like these:

Vine Cotton Crochet Bracelet by Bubolina

In addition to my basic tools of yarn and hook, I like to make sure I have my Zen Mp3 player cued to the appropriate soundtrack. Just like when you’re working out, music can motivate and inspire you. While I’m a die hard R&B lover, I notice I’m faster when I’m crocheting to club music and hip-hop. If it makes me dance, it makes my fingers fly through the yarn.

I’ve met so many fellow crafters through my travels. Passengers on the bus watch my busy fingers as a piece takes shape. It breaks barriers. Women (and sometimes men) will ask what I’m working on and tell me about projects they have at home. I’ve heard so many stories of how someone was introduced to crocheting, knitting, sewing, and more.

Save That Old Bangle!

Somewhere between high school and college, I developed this obsession with silver jewelry. Maybe it was the overabundance of door knocker earrings, fat gold chains, and four finger rings dominating my high school culture that turned me off to the shiny yellow stuff. (Not that my mom ever let me wear anything cool or hip anyway.)

During college I searched for interesting silver pieces to complement my “special” sense of style. Now, eleven years after graduation, they’re sitting in a jewelry box tarnishing away.

So how could I save the old pieces of jewelry that oxidiation claimed? I decided to refashion them by crocheting over them with scrap yarn. This way I can use remnants of yarn I have laying around and recycle jewelry that has sentimental value. Want to make your own crocheted bangle?

Start by cleaning up some of the tarnish. You can do this by first lining a glass casserole dish with aluminum foil. Place your jewelry on top of the foil and sprinkle liberally with baking soda. Pour boiling water over the jewelry till its covered. (It’s going to bubble and fizz but that’s normal.) Let sit for ten minutes, then rinse with cold water. This baking soda bath will clean some, if not all, of the tarnish off. Now comes the fun part.

Supplies Needed:

  • Bangle Bracelet
  • Size J Crochet Hook
  • Small Ball of Yarn
With yarn and hook:
1: Chain 30.
2. (Now we’ll connect the yarn to the bangle. ) Hold the bangle in the same hand you are holding your leading yarn.

2. Start to single crochet into the second chain. Insert the hook under the top loop of the second chain from the hook, as shown in the photo (do not count the loop already on the hook when determining which chain is the second chain from the hook.

3. Yarn over hook and pull through first two loops on hook. At this point, you have 2 loops on the hook. Yarn over and pull through the remaining loops to finish a single crochet.

4. Continue working your way across the row, attaching the yarn to the bracelet by repeating steps 1 – 3 to the end of your chain.

5. Slip stitch the end of your row to the top of the beginning of your row. Fasten off and weave ends. Ta Da!!!

If you don’t have a silver bangle, use a plastic or wood one. Whatever you have handy is fine. You can certainly adapt the directions to a smaller bangle, or a bangle of different material. You can also use different weights of yarn for this project. A lighter weight of yarn or thread will result in a lighter feel of the design. It may also allow more of the bangle to show through. This can be a nice effect paired with the color of the yarn.

There are many other ways you can crochet over jewelry to create new and interesting pieces. Crochet over old rings with thread to add a dash of color. Add earwires to a thinner bangle to make earrings that pop!

These beat any old doorknocker earrings!

Experiment with different ideas and make your old jewelry new again.

Yarnbombing Submission Call

Are you a knitter or crochetier? Do you design (or want to design) unusual pieces of street art out of yarn?

If so, you should design a pattern for Yarn Bombing: The Art of Knit Graffiti, to be published by Arsenal Pulp Press in fall 2009.

A DIY guide to the art of yarn graffiti and a history of hand-crafted textile street art, Yarn Bombing will feature patterns such as street-smart disguises, useful wearable tools like gloves and tool belts, street art such as knit car cozies, bike covers and headlight toques, and outdoor installations such as crochet shawls for leafy trees. The sky’s the limit as long as it’s knit or crocheted! Projects should be fun, colorful and a little bit wacky.

Designers are asked to submit a sketch and detailed description of their project, along with a brief bio, by the submission deadline of May 30, 2008.

Follow the link for more info